Smoker jailed for stabbing man who told him off

An odd-job worker smoking at a coffee shop found himself chided by another man, who also took a photograph of him.

After a heated argument and scuffle, smoker Tay Thiam Huat, 59, shook hands with Mr Yue Tuck Choy and left. But he returned 15 minutes later with a knife and stabbed Mr Yue in the lower back.

Tay was yesterday jailed for eight months after admitting to an amended charge of causing hurt to Mr Yue, also 59, at a Kopitiam coffee shop at Sunshine Place Shopping Centre in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3.

He was originally charged with causing hurt with a dangerous weapon on May 25 last year.

A district court heard that Mr Yue and his friend Deng Jung Gang, 45, were drinking at the coffee shop that evening when Tay started smoking at a table beside them.

Mr Yue was upset by his actions as there were numerous no smoking signs displayed at the premises. Upset, he took a photograph of Tay with his mobile phone before chiding him.

A heated argument ensued. Tay then grabbed Mr Yue by the shirt and the latter reacted by pushing him to the ground. They were separated by other patrons.

District Judge Low Wee Ping told Tay that he should consider himself very lucky for having been charged with causing hurt despite the fact he had stabbed the victim.

Subsequently, Tay shook hands with Mr Yue and left.

About 15 minutes later, he returned to the coffee shop with a 31cm-long knife wrapped in newspaper, and stabbed Mr Yue once.

Mr Deng quickly grabbed the knife and disarmed Tay. Mr Yue suffered a 5cm wound which required stitches.

Tay, a regular patron of the coffee shop, turned himself in the next day.

District Judge Low Wee Ping told Tay that he should consider himself very lucky for having been charged with causing hurt despite the fact he had stabbed the victim.

He noted that the victim managed to recover from his wound quite successfully, and said Tay should be thankful the injuries were not worse.

Tay could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2016, with the headline 'Smoker jailed for stabbing man who told him off'. Print Edition | Subscribe